Philosophy and Guitar Equipment: The Tower of Babel

xThis isn’t about what you might think it is about.

I am going to attempt to speak to the problem of philosophy as it arises currently. This is to say, the problem of philosophy.

The problem with philosophy nowadays, if it was ever really any different, is that to say that we are now going to speak philosophically, or we are going to talk about philosophy, is no different than if I was going to say that now I am going to talk about guitar equipment.

What I mean by this is that to say that I am having a philosophical discussion gets no further as to its topic and content, then a discussion about What brand of guitar I use, how I like my frets spaced, or what Amplifiers I prefer and which are better.

The modern problem of philosophy is that it thinks, or it implies in contemplating or otherwise accessing philosophical material, that it is speaking about anything else that is not philosophical.

The analogy would be to guitar equipment Is so much as I might be talking about Ibanez guitars, the various electronic components that go into it, the artisans that made the particular guitars, the country in which they were manufactured, the pick ups used, the string gauges, I assume that I’m talking about, say, the politics in Western Europe, or my girlfriends decision making ability around getting a tattoo, or what it means to be an American, or what it is to exist in the universe. Discussions about philosophy are only speaking about philosophy In the same way that discussions about guitar equipment are only talking about guitar equipment.

I am fairly positive that many people who will be reading this post right now will think it’s a ridiculous comparison. But I say it is a valid analogy, and that philosophy, philosophical discussions, themselves get no further than philosophy. They do not even come close to addressing the water in the stream that is flowing along side along side the path upon which I am walking my dog. The various components existence, the actuality of, perhaps me being frustrated at the limits of my empowerment, philosophy never speaks to them or of them one iota. For, philosophy is only talking about philosophy in the same way that a discussion about guitar equipment is only talking about guitar equipment.

The problem with modern philosophy is that there is a particular kind of thinking, a particular manner or orientation upon what is occurring in philosophy which sees it self as addressing some thing more than philosophy itself, say, that it is addressing existence.

And if you’re still following this and you’re just seeing how much more ridiculous this post is, then I will draw your attention to philosophy itself, what actually happens in the “philosophical Arena”.


Consider the following:

Is there something called ‘philosophy’?

Well, as I begin to contemplate what philosophy is, as I perhaps attempt to do some research into what other people say philosophy is, I invariably find that there are different little pockets, different “schools”, various academic fields. I find that as I come to some sort of opinion about what philosophy may be and I begin to write about it or talk about it, I invariably find that only a small group of people or even care about what the hell that I’m saying. And the small group of people will call them selves by some sort of name, for example “continental” Philosophy, or “analytical” philosophy, feminist, existential, idealistic or idealism, patchwork, realism, materialism, deist, Muslim, empiricism, scientism… I bet I could write a post that is so filled with types Of philosophy, just listing the names, that you would stop reading before You ever got done with the list. Never mind if I would ask each of these names of schools what they thought philosophy was. 

So on one hand, there is no such thing as philosophy. There is just this word that we use to categorize what is basically nothing at all. It’s not even proper to say that they are different ways of thinking about things, because as soon as I say that, then there’s gonna be some other school of philosophy that would say no that is not the case, and amongst those no’s there would be an infinite amount of other ideas about why it is not the case, as those would divide up into an innumerable amount of sects and denominations all of which consider themselves philosophy and have deep and profound ideas about what philosophy is.

And some people still ask me why or how I could possibly suggest that philosophy is a religion.

You can Google the paper that was taken by the convention in Toronto a few years ago: Philosophy religion and negation, I think that’s what I called it. i’m sure I got a link to it somewhere in my blog.

But I’m not making an argument here about what philosophy is or what it is not or whether it exists or whether it doesn’t exist. Because then I would just be involved in an exercise of ridiculousness. sometimes I just go ahead with the ridiculousness because, hell, we got to do something, eh?

…but In fact I find myself right in the middle of the problem of modern philosophy.


However, I think my analogy is not philosophical in the slightest sense. I think it is absolutely true and real. When do I ever encounter discourse, say, while I’m walking my dog?

My answer: only when I start to think about how discourse might be occurring while I’m walking my dog. In a way of speaking, there is no extension to discourse. What I mean by this is that there is no fundamental “discourse” that underlies me holding my iPhone, pushing the voice recording button, me speaking, and the computer algorithm printing various symbols, let alone the Internet world of code and electricity that is upholding this performance, for another word. Similarly, there is no “data” which underlies any of this situation. In fact, I could even go so far as to say there is nothing underneath at all, and even as I might argue along a certain line of extension, ultimately we find that the end of that Telos nothing at all. Not even contradiction, but exactly a reasoning which finds itself in nothing.


My analogy to guitar equipment holds. For I could have just as much a meaningful conversation filled with substance and existential depth in speaking about and having a discussion with someone about whether a Vox tube amplifier sounds better or is a better quality than say a fender solid state. I could have months long conversations of idealistic substance and meaningful profoundness around whether a 64 Stratocaster is a better guitar for playing blues then a Japanese 1980s Gretsch. Whether or not an MXR equalizer is better than a boutique equalizer made by say, Earthquaker pedals.


The issue that is not that philosophy has no substance, but what is assumed of substance, what is assumed as common, and so much as we indeed a rise in the modern context, is not getting anywhere further than the tip of its nose or the momentary irruption of sound waves in the air.

Sure, it’s real. I deal with it every day, so do you, all over the place, and a myriad of discussions about all sorts of topics.

Yet, the
Significance of this moment is not found in eternal relativity.

Indeed people still have discussions about philosophy as though they’re finding some profound truths, as if they’re discussing something with supreme depth and significance. this happens. It’s happening in all of those sub discourses, all of those various threads that are talking about which TickTock videos are the funniest, which punk rock band sounds more authentically punk rock, which pop music star has the best moves.

These discussions are not wrong or bad, but in so much as philosophy crowns itself as the king or queen of all possible discussions of significance, thereby does it miss what is actually occurring philosophically.

This is the problem of modern philosophy: there is only modern philosophy, and that any other philosophy which has a supporting describing adjective Attached to it, such as pre-modern, postmodern, mideval, ancient, ultimately arises only in the modern context, Which is to say, only in as much as people are talking about it at the time that they are talking about it yet while they believe they are talking about something which is extends to it or from it, and it is much as we are able to notice this situation. As well, Only in as much as someone tells me that it is saying anything about my life, the world or the universe, for indeed never is it encountered in my daily activity except when it comes up. There is nothing underneath, and hence what we call modern ideology, or in another way, the philosophical religion. 

Any position which poses to escape this modern world is ultimately using modern techniques in order to posit that there is some thing else that is knowable which is not modern. and this is to say that the view or orientation upon things which understands The various modes of discourse, that is, thought, idea, communication, knowledge, just to name a few, which imply or otherwise understand it’s self with reference to the implied extension is really a line of flight, a revolt from the abyss, or what we must call in all honesty now: a denial of the truth of the matter at hand.  or, what we should also understand as a reaction against an implicit offense to the way of Being by which we regularly understand and conceptualize existence, ourselves, the world, and the universe. 

This significance of philosophy I think is best summarized by Heidegger’s eternal question which resonates even to this day, into this post right here: have we yet begun to think? 


On one hand, there is the content semantic which evidences a telos which is never fulfilled, the Lacan- psychoanalytical “master signifier”, or, the vanishing mediator, the “great catastrophe”, which informs the meaningful sense of the universe as it should be.

…and then there is…some thing else…which speaks of the universe as it is.

Faith Standing on its Head

From the basis of the ‘ethical’ or ‘Atemporal’ fallacy, it is possible to understand Kierkegaard’s work from a true perspective. This new perspective is contra-Sartrean Existentialsm, or perhaps, parallel.

The problem with mid 20th century existentialism and it’s retroactivation upon Kierkegaard’s ethical universe, Is that through mid-20th century existentialism (indeed, what we automatically consider when even the term “existentialism” is mentioned) what is absurd is understood as an impassable boundary. Sartrean Existentialism is based on an understanding of Kierkegaard, ironically, in a manner that is not true to Kierkegaard’s point when one takes all of K’s works as a single statement of purpose.

This is to say that Satrean retroactivation and then the various philosophies of phenomenal existence which appear subsequently, All tend to reify an absolute limit that is marked by what is  absurd. What is human from that point is assumed as a common philosophical category (or critical category) under and thus within, constituent of, the sign of the absurd. The repercussions of this misinderstanding of absurdity does mark the end of philosophy as we find that philosophy as an assumed common effort, has ended.

When we say “ended”, what we are really saying is that we have defined a parameter of a thing that up till that point was assumed as ubiquitous, extending into infinity, and or otherwise without knowable limits.

Such is philosophy a “process”, but not a thing, not an object of the universe. It is a Discipline, or a method, but never a “particular method”, or a type. Philosophy Is understood automatically to be indicating some particular thing, but this thing is excluded from being identified. Philosophy is linked or somehow “sutured” onto what is human freedom and a conglomeration of category which includes thought, reason, idea, agency, etc., —  all the components of a priori subjects — as if those represent an unboundable situation.

However, it is this assumption of an “unboundable” situation under which the very concept of freedom becomes merely a theological dogma. Which is to say, by the very fact that we must call it “unbounded”, we have found a parameter of its ontological foundation.

It is within this theological dogma that we can we begin to re-orient Kierkegaard’s points as to what constitutes the ethical as the universal. Faith becomes that by which the universe is upheld as another name for what is reality and able to be true. The method by which veracity is upheld universally is excluded from it being identified to a particular method axiomatically to that way of knowing. 

The mid 20th century discussions about “irrationality” and existentialism was merely a way to avoid the actual situation of absurdity. “Irrationality” is the particularly modern mode of theological apology, A way to “prove” the existence of rationality (“God”) through the apodictical opposite, what is not true (not-God): it is irrational.

(I feel like I’m using the wrong word there, “Apodictic”; somebody please correct me if you know what it is.)

And this is to say that The argument that is never spoken out loud because it is assumed omnipresent and ubiquitous, is that what is rational is true by the fact that we can talk about what is irrational rationally. And this is to prove self evidently that what is absurd is the limit of reality.

Yet when we begin to understand what I am calling the “atemporal fallacy”  or the “ethical fallacy” points to a specific way of knowing, a specific way of understanding what discourse is “meaning”, then something different arises. No longer is there a uniform plane of knowledge which discourse elucidates, represents or communicates components of. Rather than the equivocal understanding of rationality which argues towards a multiplicity of ways that language and meaning can be used and applied, outside of which only absurdity and nonsense arises; to the contrary opposite and parallel, discourse, Language and meaning become bifurcated along two vectors only. The idea of rationality as a singular and universally directed component of thinking, is bifurcated, such that two vectors of rationality arise which do not communicate to each other; rather, one includes the other, and one excludes the possibility of the other. 

…And this is where Laruellean Nonphilosophy gains it’s ontological footing.



Once again, The strange disembodied “social mind” has commandeered a meaningful term in the effect of deconstruction and dissolution of the human being. Quite an invocation of Marxist capitalism, we find this kind of deconstructing of legitimacy in many terms; for example as I have talked about here and there: The term “radical” and even “existential” or even “identity” has been ripped from its thoughtful accessible substance and reflective anchors into an eternally social deconstructed nothingness of popular meaning.

In this light, it might not be too difficult to see how, from the standpoint of institution, governments are indeed being/becoming corrupt and failing at their task on one hand, and individuals are plagued with all sorts of crisis of mental health on the other.

Definition, by its very nature, is something that is taken away from Being to become “ideology”, like an idea (Idealica) but where the idea loses its ideal, or abstract, sense and becomes something that is projected out into the world as a sort of real thing that affects us from the outside, which is the basis of current capitalistic global state, And the reason that Cedric Nathaniel discusses conventional philosophy in the sense of religion, or, something that requires faith in order for it to operate or otherwise have effect on the individual person. Effect, here, is taken as the meaning where intellectually we may understand something but where the very understanding of something is shaped around something that is effectively denied; that denied object I offer from a psychological perspective is emotion. (and then see my post about the poly vagal theory).  For example, a quite Zizek type of view: if I have no worry about paying off my credit card debt, the latter about consolidating my debt has no effect upon me. The confidence of the existence of my debt has no relation to any worry that is often supposed in the offers to be rid of the debt, that is, as though the letter to relieve my debt should necessarily cause me concern about my debt if I am sane.

Starting from the simple description of how the word “triggered” has been molested and commandeered for socially ideological purposes, we might begin to understand how ideology itself is a facet in the creation of mental disorder. For one would be ultimately lead to ask is why should I give any sort of credence or acknowledgment to this more popularized form of “triggered”, say? And why should I have any sort of reaction to the fact that these terms such as “trigger” might be being used in a way to dismantle or otherwise discredit the validity of the individual human being? In the sarcastic popular use of the term “triggered”, has occurred with the popular term “rad” (radical) as another word to mean “cool”, but also in the same way as “existential ” is now used to mean concerning anything that might feel uncomfortable about living life (as though any feeling that might deviate from the feeling of comfort is inherently part of some existential crisis that a person is having). The actual occurrence of the human being is downplayed and dismissed with reference to the ideological social truth, or what is supposed of truth, due to the effect of the emotional component that is being denied in the act of making intellectual sense of the event. 

It doesn’t take very long to come to the borderlands of a conclusion which understands ideology as less something that we can somehow deconstruct, or find out any encoding meanings about, overcome any power plays inherent in the use of various terms; rather, we begin to contemplate if the very idea of ideology, as currently portrayed, is itself a symptom of mental illness. 

“Faith Turned on its Head”

Choosing Belief with Kierkegaard
— Read on

This linked post is a great case by which to begin to understand the parameters of the conventional philosophical orientation upon things.


I disagree with the writer: the leap of K is the absurd situation of already having occurred. It is not “into a choice” of faith, rather, such a choice is evidence that faith is already there.

Sartre, as I see him, misunderstood K and posited a free choice in light of the absurdity of brute existence, as S might have been reacting to the reality of the Final Solution and World War 2. But in his bewilderment of such atrocity, as with others of his time, like Fankl and May, his reading of Kierkegaard was produced in his (Sartre’s) astonishment, where as Kierkegaard was not astonished, or, he was more astonished that the brute reality of existence was/is missed so thoroughly by most (the crowd, or those oriented in such a way for their identity).

I see Sartres existentialism as a complete misreading of K. But that’s not to say that S did not have good insight given the condition of his moment.

However, the trauma (ww2) limited his ability to view; it refined his view such that the tiny pin hole he was looking through appeared to grant focus to the “whole”, perhaps like a small apperature of a photographic lens has a longer depth of field.

But we know now with trauma, the tiny view just takes over the field rather than representing it truly.

The traditional conventional readings of Kierkegaard routinely misrepresent his works (or thinks only inside the close reading of his words rather than the whole meaning of all his works — that is, philosophically rather than psychologically . Many of Ks works are indeed called by himself “psychological” btw.) Hence in order to render the meaning of his works properly for our time, one must turn thier idea of faith on its head, turn it upside down.

K’s reprimand is of the “inauthentic” individual who simply is always in despair to will to be oneself. Such individuals, ironically, 😘 find and found solace in Sartre’s existentialism because Sartre and his peers (and others) were shook by the apparent inhumanity that humanity would be party to — and such individuals understand the view from despair (the view that despair brings about) as indeed the true view, the viewing of the true existence, but it is the distortion. I call this distortion the “real” view, because it is the view that must be reckoned with first, in reality. So, in a way, Sartre was actually giving a sort of psychologically compassionate statement by his philosophy.

Like the analysis of Trauma, the view that is true of the situation is not found in the reasonable conclusions gained in the traumatic coming upon such brute force. Rather, distance allows the true picture to come into focus without restimulation.

From the brute existence already having been forced and come to terms with The reading of events is no longer informed through the “post-traumatic” apprehension-reaction against a circumstance of things; the person no longer involuntarily enacting actions and views from the still resonating “close-range” and the re-encountering of the traumatic stimulus. Or, in Sartre’s way: The encounter with the abyss of freedom is traumatic, hence one revolts from it, rejects it in order to reshape one’s own life through choosing it out of the chasm of nothing upon which identity is based.

What Kierkegaard already had processed and viewed truly was already lost, as we see in K’s reprimands of Christianity. What Sartre “rediscovered” was a reading of Kierkegaard through the lens of deflowered ignorance: In despair to will to be oneself. Hence Sartre’s Existentialism just posits that one can will to be oneself through the free choice to no longer be in despair. This reading, while good for the modern citizen who is already in despair merely tells everyone it is ok to live in ignorance of oneself through choosing to deny thier despair through the free act of choice.

Judge Wilhelm (in Either/Or part 2) describes the condition of those who would wish to “join in love” with that which is apparently unknowable, and hence the ground of ethical choice that is despair.

While such a reading can be therapeutic considering that most of society citizens do their best to try and avoid their brute existence, the reading, such as evident in the linked-post (as well as the scholarly reports) nevertheless is opposite of what K was saying.

Ks use of the trope “Christianity” often throws off interpretation, as we see with Sartre; for who could still think God was in history after the Holocaust? Sartre’s whole philosophy is informed by active trauma: the trauma of having the very human force of belief confronted at its core, that is, as an actual force connected with causality.


Read more insights into philosophy in THE SECOND PART of The Philosophical Hack: The Object of the Subject.

The Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Event.

Coming to mind whether you want it to or not.


— Read on

great post!!

Yet/and… read on…

I am not sure that we need to use the term “hyper objects”. I think that term functions and works to miss the significance of objects in-themselves. if I were to use the term “hyper objects” in the context that I am understanding it, at least through this link post: It’s as though I am approaching a great significance, and as I get closer to it then all of a sudden I need to turn away and completely ignore and miss what the significance actually was and create my own subjective interpretation of what I actually never encountered. The speculative term “hyper object” is an evangelistic manner of retaining subjects under its theological dominion.

In a very real sense, it’s as though existentialism of the Sartean kind (revolting from the abyss) is in fact less a rational ontological truth, and more A functioning of religious theological dogma for the purposes of Establishing and maintaining a transcendental subject of offense (ubiquitous politics).

Nevertheless, This post link is a perfect extrapolation of the theme that Zizek mentions somewhat frequently here and there: The significance of modern critical theory and philosophy is that while it thinks it’s self as a player in social activism, it’s discourse has nothing to do with “the people”. The masses, or the people, cannot be appropriated by philosophy nor critical theory; rather, the appropriation links back to its own assertion of power, as though it is getting at something new; as I say in places and as Cedric Nathaniel will argue in his book, the world that is encompassed by modernity and postmodernity cannot even reach “the mass of people” except through denying that “the people” as a universal object actually exists in itself. This situation that philosophy/critical theory has gotten itself into is ultimately correlational unto itself. The issue thus is not how to get out of correlational existence, but how we deal with this fact.

This post is a perfect example of the motion that I just described: As soon as the people attempt to act for themselves, the agent of critical theory (and the general congregation/constituency of the theoretical religious body) have to impose and discount it, make it marketable, discount the people themselves because the people acting in themselves and for them selves actually exhibit a manner of existence which does not accord with the theological mandates of critical philosophical theory of the One Reality: The People exhibit no excess, no margin for profit. The irony of this contradictory activity is eternal, and is why we must locate such idealized activity within the envelope of transcendental law, A code of laws “given from God”.

I am excited that this post mentions GrahamHarman In what I see as an appropriate use of his philosophy in something that is not architecture — because this is the first post, even though he’s referencing an article from 2009 or something, that I’ve seen anyways, that is beginning to understand or somehow reflect upon the world as though it is filled with objects, and as well seems to be beginning to comprehend it self in the context of universal objects as opposed to a common humanity of inter-relating subjectivities. But but of course, this is not to say that there are not interrelating subjectivities, but only that The universe of interrelating subjectivities is not the only universe that can be known, and that indeed interrelating subjectivities are objects, or, is an object in itself.

The caveat to this, though, is that I fear that such theoreticians will still be involved in the attempt to reduce this kind of alterity, this disparity, to another common manner to link power to its absolute ideological object, and completely miss the significance that they almost came upon.

But in the meantime, like I said, at least people are beginning to notice them selves in the context of universal objects.


We are just beginning to see, to actually be able to view, what human beings do. We are just beginning. This is the long game…

….But all that is for other posts.

The Impossible; Part 5. Existence and the Story of Death to Life.

Whew! Those Impossible essays really get thick. So perhaps a rejoining to a more approachable speaking. But hold on! The ride is just getting fun.

I have been interacting through comments and replies with Dave, who writes the blog called “Big Story Guide”. Our conversation is quite wonderful, so, just as I used our conversation for the basis an earlier essay post ( See: Aphilosophy, Convention, Faith and God), I do the same here, and because this latest reply grew to such lengths (even though I think I have posted replies even longer than this one).

The reader can see our extended conversation under the comments of “Issues and Existence”. And please feel free to visit Dave’s blog “Big Story Guide”:


We last saw our heros continuing enquiry into each other’s ideas. Dave is curious for a rendition of Lance’s ‘Big Story’, and Lance has been attempting to discover from Dave the significance for the Christian and the non-Christian in the claim of Christ Jesus. Dave (in italics)…

Your notion of “the qualitative motion of history” suggests a bigger story than The Bible tells – a story within which The Bible should be interpreted. So, when you say, “Teaching, method, apprehending or comprehending terms through a particular scheme, is the issue at the heart of the Gospels,” it seems as if you are sort of taking an aerial view of a mansion of reality/truth. You can see Christians entering through one door (scheme) on one side of the mansion while you see Hindus and others entering by other doors (schemes) on other sides of the building

The quality of history reflects an essential motion, where as history itself changes with the times. I think the Bible presents a certain correspondence with these ideas, one ironic, one conventional.

“If that is the case, what is the more faithful rendition of our story, told from that larger view?”

You have captured one of the more insightful philosophical rebuttals to some of the existentialist authors here, one that contributed, I feel, to the discarding post-modernist critiques to a particular era, and the movement beyond it. The larger view is entirely existential, that we are humans doing human things, that has no more meaning than the meaning we have of it at the time, that there is no knowing a true history, that anything anyone can say has to do only with present discursive situations. The question would be then, how could they know of this? The rebuttal is something like the accusation that the so-called existentialist (but Laruelle with his non-philosophy likewise) authors set themselves as a sort of ‘omniscient’ or ‘removed’ viewer, as if their view is not likewise conditioned by the existential situation.

But I would say that the ‘death to life’ story, as you describe it of the Bible, is no larger than what the above situation grants. To wit: How would it be possible to step out of existence so as to gain such a view? The answer is excruciatingly ironic, for the one who is ‘stepping out’ is the one who says it cannot be done.

One way to speak about it is to say there is no stepping out of existence, that there is no larger story but the story that is reflected in itself by itself, and that this reflection is based in an apparent separation.

Take for example a story book, a novel. Can the characters step out of the story in order to see the story? No, they cannot. They are determined in and by the story to be the story as it goes. It is only the reader who steps out of the story, but he does this by an interesting move. This is the historical significance of the development of the novel-type writing. The reader starts at the beginning and reads to the end. He thereby can summarize the story, talk about its characters, its plot, the development of tension, climax and such; but this telling is not the story, it is a story of a story. The real state of the reader is removed from the story but in such a way that he views the summary and discussion of the story as referring to the story itself. But his telling is not the story; it is not even a summary. It is the story of the story. This real reader misses the story by staying removed from the story, and it is this assumptive state of removal, of distance enacted by the author as well as the reader in reality, that allows the story of the story to be not the story but its summary. This state of being human corresponds with the state of reality, that which marks a quality of history to the reading of history.

Thus another way to speak about it would be to see that to live ‘in the worldly’ way is to live by separation, and with reference to your ‘Death to Life Story’, is the way ‘of death’, not dissimilar to your Big Story.

Would you say that Abraham, being after the Fall, was likewise ‘living death’? I would say no. I would say the he ‘lives’, but did not need Jesus and so was not ‘restored’ to life, but merely ‘lived in God’ but after the Fall. How did he get that way?

The same with Noah before him; …he “was a just man, perfect in his generations, Noah walked with God”. How was this so if all men live in a state of death after Adam? How did Noah “[find] grace in the eyes of The Lord”?

Further, the only thing it says of how Abraham got to know God is “Now the Lord said unto Abraham…”

And what of Moses? Did he do anything to bring God to him or chose to meet God? No. God chose him. And I would add that this is the most offensive aspect of the Bible to the reader of its stories: It could have only happened in the past since if God chose someone today, in the same way as Abraham, Noah, Moses or Jesus, it means that God has not chosen me; but where there is irony, this statement, the meaning of Moses, etc, ‘being chosen’, has no contradictory baring upon my relation with God.

I think that, as a result of your bigger-than-The-Bible-Big-Story, your interaction with the biblical figures Abraham and Jesus becomes pretty highly conceptualized. For example, Abraham experiences “a true ‘before the fall’ covenant, so to speak, with God.”

Are these three people human beings? I would say yes, they are actual human beings who ‘knew’ God. And, in that they did nothing to achieve such a relation with God, that is to say, they did not beckon favor with God, they also did not choose anything about God, at least, not any more than someone else could have; God exactly chose them. In fact, I would say, because they are ‘after the fall’ people, they could not have chosen God; nothing they could do could remove or get beyond their ‘fallen’ condition; only an act of God could do so. In fact, choosing God could only get them as far as their own ‘sinful’ condition was able, which is ‘removed from God’, offended in this state.

This is clearly anachronistic within The Bible’s story, so it would be tremendously helpful to know the bigger big story within which this Abraham event took place. Please, tell me about “the real mistake that began as the Fall.”

Sin can be seen as “the real mistake that began as the Fall.” The mistake of taking an object before God. If this is a signal of human heritage, passed down as a condition or state of being human, then as we are in sin, at some point in the past it would seem there was an original sinner.

In a way, in the story, the ‘fruit’ or ‘apple’ represents the ‘idol’ that comes to stand between Adam and God; it is the worldly object that is seen to be able to make Adam and Eve like God, knowing good and evil: ethics/universe of objects the control of which make humans ‘like God’. The mistake that unfolds in history is the progressive domination of such object, the ‘death’ that ultimately pushes God entirely out of human knowledge and experience. When such ‘worldly saturation’ occurs, then Christ returns to restore life, that is, God.

If this post-fall state is inherited by all humans, then as this is indicated by choice or free will, our state determines thus our ability to know God. This ability, founded in the ‘first significant choice’ – since if there was choice before the Fall then its significance was consistent with God’s will, where ‘everything’ would be significant, thus allowing nothing significant to be punctuated as such – thus likewise conveys the beginning of ethics, since that which is consistent with God’s will has no weight against what could be evil since such a motion in that ‘pre-fall’ state is God’s state and not so much a human state. The post Fall state of humanity, wherein choice upon good and evil resides or is established, is the entirely of what we can know, our knowing being limited by the sinful condition of knowing with choice, can be called the universe, because it consists of or is correspondent with what all humans can possibly know. So it is that Kierkegaard, in “Fear and Trembling” (I believe its this book) begins with “the universe is the ethical”.

It’s worth mentioning again that I think the question, “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical” is an interesting one raised by the Abraham-Isaac story. But, I don’t think it is at the heart of the story. Instead, the issue of humanity’s death and the possibility of resurrection is at the heart of the story.

The question “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?” is Kierkegaard’s primary concern, as I have said, through all his works. This question means: Is there a way of knowing or otherwise communing with God-as-God, meaning, without the ethical doubt that injects one’s humanity in the way of God’s communication with him? In other words: is there a possibility of a God-man?

One of the things I feel like I’m missing in our conversation is how you might see the teleological suspension of the ethical being necessary to some kind of resurrection.

Resurrection, with regards to the ‘death to life story’ of the Bible, is a teleological suspension of the ethical, a breach of universal ‘right-ness’, an actual communion with God ‘as Life’, as opposed to ‘death’. Such communion or communication would not have a possibility of ‘wrong-ness’ since God is above or beyond ethics: God is God, creator of the universe, creator of choice, indetermined by choice. God is righteousness as opposed to nothing else. Hence Kierkegaard considers Abraham and Jesus.

Your questions regarding Jesus’ experiences with faith strike me as also being an interesting aside. I would find them much more compelling if I believed that Jesus represents a God-in-man issue. But, I believe that Jesus is the God-man who came to address the death of humanity through His death and resurrection.

God can only be ‘in man’ as much as man sees God as distanced, or removed, from man; but the movement is that man made that choice to remove himself from God. Hence the significant questions concerning the state of humanity is: What about you is not God? What is resurrection?

This is essential.. This is essential.

[Jesus’s] experiences with the teachability, and learnability of faith, and His personal experiences with doubt strike me as being pretty speculative (but still interesting) and less essential.

I would think these represent his humanity, and, ironically, they are entirely speculative and less essential – and it is interesting how K speaks about ‘the interesting’ as a quality of various worldly topics.


The contradiction between the God-man and the God-in-man presents the impossible situation of reality: Would you know if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was standing right in front of you? How would you know? Would everyone know? How do you know?

Reality imposes its maxim, framed or determined by the impossible: You are not God, and, no one can have a personal audience or communion with God as God. A man, though, may have God ‘in him’, and hope to be communicating directly with God, because this is the condition of man after the Fall: He needs a redeemer, a proxy, a go-between. Faith allows for a traversing of the distance that has been created by the sin of not choosing God, or maybe better put, the sin of being able to choose God now that there is a sufficient distinction by which to make a decision. This is the post-Fall universal condition of humanity. Only those of the past can be such God-chosen people, for if I told you that God indeed has spoken to me, has chosen me, in the same way as Abraham and Moses, you would call B.S. or think I’m insane. Because reality has it that we are all equal, all of the same capacity and existential presence in the world, then if this is the case, that I commune and communicate with God as God, it means that God has chosen me and not you. This is offense. This is the evidence of sin. This is impossible.

Kierkegaard thus considers the possibility of Christ. Is it possible that God sent his Son to be here on earth, a human? If this is possible, what does it mean for humanity? Does this meaning exceptionalize meaning to certain qualifiers, such that there are ‘humans’ and then there are ‘human but also something else’? How does the exception also place me in a certain position with reference to God? Does this meaning, the exception, include all humans, regardless of how they are qualified? What does this mean? Where do I exceptionalize myself as human, but not ‘that’ human? What is God? Who is God? Where am I offended? Where do I sin? What stories do I tell myself to qualify myself in the world? What are these stories? What is blasphemy?

Can I know God as God? Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?

For reality, the answer to these questions being the same, is impossible!
But only through faith.



Issues and Existence.

I subscribe to a blog called “Bigstoryguide” where he author is involved with a running commentary as he goes through the Bible. Yes, the whole Bible. His blog he calls ‘Jesus’s death to life project’. I think he just got to the New Testament.

I am not a Christian; I am not religious nor prescribe to any particular religious doctrine. I would say if there is a god then he-it-they guide and/or ‘cooperates’, not so much with me, but, more so say, ‘upon’ or ‘through’ me. I’m not much for claiming god as my homie or leader of my gang or nothing, but neither, as what could appear contrary but complimentary to religion, would i say i practice or believe any sort of spirituality; if i am spiritual it is because i am motivated to convey (in practice and speech, as writing or talking is a practice also) what I understand and understand how i might be able to convey it. God or gods, religion and spirituality are just interesting to me, and seem to suggest many significant issues with reality, life and the world, as well as their solutions. If I say I am religious or spiritual, believe in God, gods, spirit, universal energy, etc… It is in the ‘spirit’ of colloquialism for the purpose of the attempt to communicate and/or to help. In a way, one could say, it is not so much what I say I believe, but what is true of what I say.


So this blogger posted a nice piece that I use as an occasion to comment. Here is his post, with the link after:

One night during the Spanish Inquisition in Seville, a cell door swings open and The Grand Inquisitor steps into the doorway. Pausing on the threshold, he lifts his lamp into the small dungeon to cast light on the prisoner’s face. The light yreveals what he already knows. The prisoner is Jesus.

There will be no trial. In fact, The Grand Inquisitor has already made his decision. He will burn Jesus at the stake in the morning.

The verdict: What Jesus offers human beings is not enough. Although He offers Himself as the bread of life, it simply is not enough.

Thou has promised to them the bread of life, the bread of heaven; but I ask Thee again, can that bread ever equal in the sight of the weak and the vicious, the ever ungrateful human race, their daily bread on earth?

(“The Grand Inquisitor” from The Brothers Karamozov by Feodor Dostoevsky

John 6. Non-fictional.

A crowd of people searched and found Jesus – excited about the way He had miraculously provided bread for them. However, Jesus didn’t want to talk with them about miraculous provisions of food.

Instead, He offered Himself to them. He offered Himself as “real food” and “real drink.” Their verdict?

“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.

I don’t think the blogger intends it, but the situation he presents here in juxtaposing the fiction and the, supposedly, non-fiction, sums up what can be called our current ‘existential situation’.

Again, as I have said in previous posts, the issue is not so much about what may be true of these stories, but how to speak of it, about its significance. The religio-mythological writ coordination of meaning, such as the (assumed) intent of the Bigstoryguide blogger, is much too dogmatic for me, too much like “…and the moral of the story is…better eat yer veggies!” As if one can merely choose to believe; as if if I just explain it to you well enough, then you will of course choose the obvious better choice. My question is: Why wouldn’t you? I mean, if all you got to do is believe and everything will be ok, why would anyone choose not to believe it? I, for one, can honestly say I have not chosen anything about what I believe, except maybe that I believe I will leave for work tomorrow 20 minutes early instead of 30. So it is that we have our existential situation. (By the way, in case you didn’t know, Dostoevsky is considered an existentialist writer, though he wrote before the term was coined.)

{ Side: Somewhat recently I saw a book, a humor book, that was called something to the effect like, ‘The Idiots Guide to Choosing a Religion’. It was great; truly funny. Similar tongue-and-cheek to a book from the 1980’s called, again, I think, “The Book of Money”, or maybe “The Money Bible”, From what I remember of it (the latter book), someone wrote this book using ‘biblical-speak’, with titled books that mimicked the actual books of the Bible, numbered chapters and versus; stories similar to the Bible stories’ content, but its was all about money. I wish I would have gotten it when I saw it. It was classic. The best chapter, which was in the book with the name and style that mimicked the book of Psalms, and was called “Money”, went something like this:

1. Money money money; oh money. Money money money money money money thou money. 2. Money money, money money. My money money money: money money money money. 3. Money. Money money money ….

Well, you get the jist. Absolutely hilarious. And the really great thing about it, the thing that struck me about it, was I wasn’t totally sure that it was meant to be a joke. As I said; Classic.

The ‘Religion’ book, though, is like a reference book, and it has every religion, sect, and cult that you can think of from the ages till now, all listed as to their qualities. Fundamental beliefs; type of pantheon, from one God, to paganism, to polytheism, to natural philosophy; benefits, such as, having an afterlife, or being forgiven, to you get to have you own universe, and ‘thumbs-down’, like, believes there is a hell, or must be willing to kill yourself, or have to wear certain clothes; practices; etcetera. Each religion and/or spiritual belief system has its own listing and even is rated, like, in a five star scale, against others. At least, again, this was my impression of it; the actual details may be slightly different. And again; I’m not totally sure that it is a joke, but I’m pretty sure it was written in good fun.

The reason I mention it is because it comes out of the idea that people can choose what they believe, like we can actually go shopping for a religion that best fits our beliefs, as if i can find one that meets most of my criteria and the rest ill just choose to believe; or, I can even choose what I want of believe because I’m not totally sure what I believe, or what it means. Well, I’m sure we can do this, but what does that really say of what we believe ? }


The issue I am going to deal with now is posed in the excerpt. Particularly how John puts it, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Again, if I wasn’t clear, I am not advocating Christianity, or that one needs to ‘accept’ Jesus as their personal savior. But likewise, I am not taking a dig at Christian blogger dude; he likewise could no more choose not to be a Christian (I only assume he is a Christian), than he could choose to be, say, an alligator, though it is just as well that most everyone believes that there is a choice to be had. I suppose the significant idea is found in asking someone to believe she can choose to believe that she has no choice. Or even better, asking someone to not believe in what they believe. That person might then respond by saying that their belief (that is in question) has developed through a consideration of circumstances, upon choices made, and that they cannot choose to not believe what they believe because their belief is sound, and they would not want to change their belief. So then I would have to say that they have no choice in what they believe. The rebuttal then would affirm that for their present belief they have no choice because the choices made in the past have brought them to their current condition of belief, which is to say that our present situation is determined by our past choices, which is thus sound (or not sound, as the case may be with having an issue (read on; see below) but the point then for the response is that the belief that they have an issue, is sound) Well, I say, what prevented the past situations of belief from being chosen out of; at what point in time did you have a choice upon what you believe? And back: And why would I want to believe that I had or have no choice? And me again: in what way has your wants determined what you choose? So can you choose to not want what you want? The argument could go on and on, through many avenues and considerations, quite like Plato’s dialogues, but the pivotal response would inevitably arrive: Why would I want to choose out of that which has soundly brought me to my place of truth? And, why would I want to choose not to want what I want anyways?

This is the issue, isn’t it. Issues.


Here is another way of looking at it.

The question I have pondered for a long time is: why wouldn’t I choose the ‘easy’ way; I mean, why wouldn’t I choose what is healthy for me, or ‘better’ for me? Why would I choose to make things difficult on myself? Am i not intelligent and sane? Now, I don’t mean this in the sense like studying and going to school to be an engineer might be difficult. Rather, I mean why would I choose to party real hard, too hard maybe, so I am incapable of studying well enough so I could get the career of my dreams? Well, the typical thinking goes to psychology: I am just fuckt up like that, like, something is wrong with me, like I have some issues embedded in my psyche or my mind that makes or compels me to make decisions that are not to my benefit despite myself.

I propose for this situation that the individual in question could not choose because she had no choice, and Christianity, the institution, and all Religion and spirituality in general, as well as psychology, the ‘science of mind/ behavior’, so to speak, develops not only in response but out of this apparent inability. I submit that the individual was doing all she could to do what was in her best interest, that in fact, she was doing what was in her best interest the whole time ( ill address the ‘best interest’ part later). Most if not many would say, that is because she does have issues. Ok; say I believe that I have issues. I reflect upon those times, or I resent those times because I come across thoughts that I had, or now have in me that were telling me that I should make the other choice, the one that at the time I knew was the right choice but did not make. I have an issue, and then I have an issue because of the issue, so I decide to get get help with my issues. I goto therapy. Over time I come to terms with my issues and get better – or maybe I don’t.

Never mind that many would argue that one does not ‘believe’ he has issues, he merely has issues; well, who is talking about what one believes? What issues are there if one does not believe that there are issues? The issues everyone else sees, or believes they see? The issue one has in-itself, or the issue that one believes everyone else does not have? But here, this is not a matter of believing, it is a matter of what is true.

The significant question has got to be: Why could I not just choose to leave my issues behind when I realized that I had them? Why would I sit in them when I know they have caused and are causing me all sorts of problems? The answer has got to be concerning belief, and not so much of what is reality and what I chose as a subject of reality; it can not be so much about what may be true of reality as much as one is involved with it. Perhaps it can be said, it does have more to do with what I am not choosing, but not so much as my issues have not been chosen in so much as they were thrown upon me: it is because my issues are informing me exactly as to who I am, and I cannot dismiss myself from my identity, nor do i want to. And, if i want to, I cannot. Hence the problem.

So I have to ask, against what am I having the cognition that I have issues? Exactly against the idea that allows me to know that I have issues. It is not some issue in-itself, as if there is some natural, ‘non-issue’ way, and due to this, I have some issue that is making me screwed up in my choices. Perhaps a person looks out into the world and sees that his life is not a picture that he enjoys, or perhaps he just feels wrong in his own skin. Again, the question must be, how could he be any different? Against or within this question lay the pertinent answer: in the past as different choices, or the future as a result of making different choices. Indeed; if such answers ( and so the question) were not salient, would there be an issue? And what is the past and future? Only an idea against which can have ideas about how one might have issues or not. ‘Now’ is not viable; in fact people will argue against my having an issue even while they will admit it. Likewise, those pictures and feelings one has of oneself and ones life can only exist in that they take form as ‘something that I am not’. I’m sure many are thinking that this is a most ridiculous notion, merely a conceptual game – but again, a ‘game’ as opposed to what? To what is Real? I say that it is just this game that we are all playing. In truth, such issues are entirely of one’s self, not put upon him by some separate force, but exactly the force that is that person entirely and absolutely, which has no true basis as a construction of outside forces. To bring in and reiterate what I have said before; in so much as I am an individual that has real issues thrust upon me, so much do I have faith, as well, am a subject of faith, and thereby do I look to solve my issues through faith, but ironically that faith that expresses my inability to choose to exit from them.

The thing is, so much as i may have issues, when I am able to fully concede to my issue, and thus fully accept it as me, it goes away. In as much as I deny or ignore it, it remains, and if I accept it, but not that it is me, likewise it remains. This is the presumed mode or operation of modern ‘psychoanalytic’ and/or ‘encounter’ therapy; when someone realizes whatever it is that has prevented them from ‘real-izing’ the issue (which is, really, a break from their usually reality), it is a ‘breakthrough’, like they have ‘broken through’ the facade of ‘their’ reality. And also, in this very same way, this is the presumed mode of the Christian problem, expressed in the above excerpts, that is solved through ‘belief’. In truth, this is to say of either solution, which actually is the same solution, either the issue still remains, but is accepted of oneself, or the issue is gone and so needs no acceptance; either way, the effect of the issue having power over or in ones life, is proposed as belief of the problem ‘no longer an issue’.

This is so much to outline the situation of human existence.


The main problem that the excerpts shed light upon is that for most people, such a ‘breakthrough’ never occurs. (At some point I will address this issue). So far as Christ might relate to the human condition, people are unable to sufficiently understand, or believe, so to bring about a dismissal or relieving of the issue. Beyond the dogmatics of Christian religion, Christ is the figure or actual-symbol of the message that a person merely needs to fully accept, understand or otherwise come to terms with her or his situation as an existing being. In fact, one cannot merely ‘believe’, as if a choice can be made; one must actually ‘give up’ the ideal relation that establishes oneself in, as I have spoken about it, reality. Yet, within the belief of Christianity, the functioning thereof, Jesus is that element of oneself – a precipitate of sorts, of oneself ‘un-revealed’, so to speak, unto his inability – that holds the person back from making the breakthrough, which is to say, ironically, Jesus ‘fills’ in that place, aspect or otherwise resisting area of the individual that prevents one from ‘accepting the teaching’. Jesus is the bread, is the link between the ‘not being able’ and the sought after ‘wanting for’. His presence in position of interlocutor for the discrepancy is that part of oneself that is denied for the sake of having belief being effective as a belief of choice; in other words, the Christianized Jesus is choice objectified, is that boundary, that chasm, by which one may find oneself in the substantive echo, the ‘issue’ of not being able to believe well enough, such that one may then choose to believe what suits her the belief that belief is significant. Such it is that only with the presentation of Jesus do we have the situation of a “hard teaching” that no one can accept, except that one may then, for Christianity, choose to believe.

For Psychology, as it is for Christianity, one need only choose to believe. If I can choose to believe that a ‘discussion’ about the terms of my issues will allow my issue to go away, then similarly I can choose to believe in Christ, since I need only to address my issues behind not believing. But one need not choose; choosing is the problem. So it is that the problem of the apparent inability is taken as indicating course, and a method for discerning exactly where the inability resides within a psyche or mind or soul of a now real individual (one who cannot but have the inability) is drawn out through a method of finding truth; the truth is thus the way as well as the life; it is the only way to find truth, as it concerns the human life, the only life that can be for all humanity in reality. The method becomes the true method to find truth (of oneself). No more then must we choose because our inability to choose ‘the better’, the ‘not having an issue’, is found in the choice that is the method: we need not and can not choose our way out of the situation of reality that is the issue, we instead goto therapy and believe. The therapist works to draw out the issue, as a leech for the disease of the blood, by listening to the individual speak and directing the individual to possibilities within what the individual has said, possibilities that have arisen as the science of psyche has developed out of and due to the analysis of the inability to step out of the issue. At some point, hopefully, the individual ‘speaks the issue’ so to speak, and or comes upon the issue in relation to a meaning of what was being said about it, around it, or because of it. The issue thus ‘breaks through’ the ‘wall’ of the psyche that was created by the psyche itself to protect itself in the procurement of a proper reality from the issue, but it thereby effects or establishes a reality that is ‘off’. Thus the issue is responsible for reality, as reality is the issue. Like the tract responsible for ambergris, the psyche of psychology develops along with the issue such that the matter of expulsion of the issue becomes a disgustingly beautiful thing to behold, but likewise, we can be sure the functioning of the psyche will produce another issue in its procurement of reality. The truth of this method, and or the method for finding a method that works, is hardly chosen, it is taken in faith that it is true, and that its methods are real, at least. Hence the conventional bias that sublimates and or denies its basis of operation for choice and belief.

The “breakthrough” of Psychology is the “bread” of Jesus of Christianity extrapolated in time’s discourse for the incessant and persistent inability or refusal of humanity to come to terms with its own existence. It was the same in the supposed time when the Gospels were written, as it was for Dostoevsky’s time, as it continues to be for our time. Nothing has gotten better, no one has gotten closer for all the ‘progress’ we might purport. I submit, just as many believed then as now as with those doing therapy now – so it seems.


The mid-20th century notion of Existentialism, as coined by the thinker Jean-Paul Sartre, is the expression in its explaining of the condition of not being able to relinquish such an identity. The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, whom Sartre called the first existentialist, was the first (it seems) Western, or maybe also ‘modern’ thinker to come upon the point of contention in the way I am presenting it. They tell of the motion of existence, possible ways of situating existence in reality, which is to say, discourse, and the process whereby human beings come to terms with such an understanding. The proposal can be seen as ironic; people either are in bad faith, or they find themselves in a situation of ‘bad faith’; this is the process of conventional faith on one hand, and faith in doubt on the other. With reference to John (above, and please keep in mind that I am not advocating believing any type of dogmatics), when a person finds themselves in a situation of existence, they then realize the paradox of the “hard teaching”, and they become unsettled. They come to have ‘angst’ or become ‘anxious’ because the certainty of reality is failing, and this person either falls back into discourse of the real, or they fall onward in truth. If the latter, such angst leads to ‘despair’, and despair then is the harbinger of the ‘breakthrough’. Ironically, then the person finds that what they saw or knew of reality is no longer real.

And again, and to reiterate; the problem is precisely that understanding this process does nothing to bring it about; actually, understanding this process works to prevent it from occurring; for our examples, understanding how and why therapy operates, and that Christianly speaking, that our sinful nature can be solved through Christ; both resolve in a capacity for belief. The truth of the matter at hand is ‘hard to accept’, I would say ‘offensive’, so this state of innate human offense is solved conventionally by belief; this is summation of the presentation of conventional history. Understanding the issue only functions to bring it back around so it remains, and understanding this further tends to keep it cycling. This is the same problem of reality, what I have called “conventional methodology”. The means and manner by which reality is established and maintained is due to the overwhelming predominance of human beings who cannot let go of their ‘real identity’, even when it is plagued with issues that hinder ones ability to function. The recourse to this plague, this dis-ease of what is real, is to reify that the problem can only be found in what is real, namely, methods.

This is why and how the message of Christ became the institution of Christianity that allowed for Western Psychology. One merely needs then to believe; one needs only to repent; one needs to pray; one needs to confront their issues; one merely needs to get real with oneself; the real answer is always one needs to do something differently. Thus Christianity (of the West), sewed its own predominance; Catholicism let to Protestantism, because the Catholic way was not doing the trick. Protestantism lead to modern ‘philology’, as if we just need to study more and find the true meaning; this lead to the current Western philosophy, and this brought psychology. Round the time of the rebuking of supernaturalistic metaphysics, maybe circa 1750, and into the 19th century, we see a split in method. Protestantism developed all sorts of sects; Transcendentalism arose, as well as all sorts of Spiritualism, culminating in a profound polemic of Atheism and Magic, this last most significantly of the scholarly sort that seeks the truth through study, Alistar Crowley. Though this is admittedly quite a rough description of developments, all seek to reconcile that which is most insistently discrepant: the problematic real individual person.
It also is significant that the concepts of individualism, freedom and capitalism all came about at a time when the Christian sway was evidencing a profound failure: A state founded on the idea of the free and equal individual under the law, and the law as merely a device of negotiating individuals, individuals with pronounced and apparently unsolvable issues.

Tangent: Bad Faith, part 2

So what is really going on? According to the lowest common meaning, everyone is in bad faith until they realize that they have nothing to lose and so then they get on with maximizing their potential to basically do what they want, or exercise their passion. While this may seem a great out for ‘living the dream’, I say that if this is a great summary of what Sartre took many many more words to say then Sartre was small minded and hardly deserving the credit given him as a big name philosopher – moreso, if we can truly agree with the adage that the more popular something is, the more likely it is of low significance and value and probably really sucks, then maybe there is something behind his big name: he was telling the world exactly what they want to hear, and backed up by the great academy to boot! (Or, he said exactly what only could be said at the time!)

One could say that such an existential take is nothing less than another conventional religion. Another system by which to classify and justify one’s placement in the world. Another out, another excuse to avoid the fact of existence.

But now we are getting somewhere. When we begin to understand the confining and ubiquitous quality of religious type propositions, of un-analyzed ideas by which we support our identity as human beings, we just might be coming upon a glimpse of the issue here.

Laruelle is indeed onto something; he has called his project ‘non-philosophy’ and it has to do with an indicating, a designating of philosophy. In my last post, I dared so much as to imply that the effort of philosophy is in bad faith; in fact, I do not exceptionalize philosophy, I call it what it is and include it in the motion of the general idea of thought itself as represented in human communication: I say it is part of the general human rhetoric: I call it conventional methodology. Yet here is Laruelle claiming a non-philosophy – and I say ( unflinchingly ) that Laruelle, too, is in bad faith by his proposition.

I must be some kind of nut. I have said earlier that the problem I have with Laruelle is his excessive use of jargon. As well, the reason why I decry his is not his proposition: it is that he cloaks it, apparently for a select few of jargonesque status. And this is because I can say as much in simple terms. What is significant in this exchange (albeit one-sided at this point) is that my ability to know what he is suggesting did not arise through any intensive studying or deciphering of philosophical or cultural critical/ theoretical texts. ( I admit that, at this point at least, I gather he has been a career academic and that I do not really know what his process has been.) I know what he is saying because it is apparent to me. There was no organized class of information or presentation by which I was informed of the issue: I found the issue because of my experience. I comment and/or rebut authors because I understand whether they understand the issue by seeing how they organize their terms.

The truth of the matter is not then, any longer, the issue, but the putting into terms the truth of the matter. So when we begin to comprehend what is occurring in reality, we begin to get a grasp on the bare fact of existence, and this is where I find purchase to speak.

– By now, if anyone has been able to hang on or be interested or keep reading, there must be some who are saying to themselves, if not out loud, ” we’ll, get to the damn issue; what is you point?” And to them I must reply “Why in such a rush? Where are you going so fast?” For if we are to be clear we must take our time. Part of the problem is that everyone is in such a hurry, everyone wants the punch line before the setup. Everyone wants to know where to start so they can take it from there and “make a name for yourself”. No one wants to start from the beginning. No one has time. No one cares, and no one cares to care – but somehow those same people have an idea of ethics: they do not want to be pointed out as the hypocrite, they’d rather hang onto their feeble idea of freedom and agency, and live in denial, the whole time proclaiming their righteousness. They would rather hang their personhood on conventional religion.

Well, I have time; so you’ll just have to be patient. Besides, for those who are getting an inkling of what this is all about, I haven’t even begun yet, but I’ve said exactly what needs to be said to be clear. The problem is the problem itself: how does one reconcile duality in the objective real world?

Tangent: Bad Faith, part 1

In an earlier post, I suggest that Francis Laruelle, by his Non-philosophy, is in bad faith, ala. Jean-Paul Sartre. So I might do well by explaining what this means.

One could easily come to a close idea of what bad faith might mean by comparing it to ‘good faith’. I would say that good faith is a kind of trust one has in another but before the other person has really earned it: the trust is given in good faith. And this can be closely associated with plain Faith, as in, I have faith in you, or, I have faith in Jesus.

Sartre comes up with the idea of Bad Faith in reference to what may be common to general human experience; so far as what may be real life, people tend to take it on good faith that it is real, or at least tend to take experience with the benefit of doubt. Even things that seem odd or disagreeable are still taken as an occasion for a plausible judgement as to what may be real or not.

Now, Sartre is making a claim against such typical experience, that such realities taken in good faith are actually of bad faith. One avenue of looking at this is to see that he stakes his claim on the possibility of freedom. In an extended analysis, one comes upon the peculiar confinement that reality places upon a person, that freedom is defined against other qualifiers of reality such that freedom itself is designated and so does not qualify itself to its meaning: freedom has no essential meaning – and this means that we are not really free.

Here we get to what is meant by existential angst. We want to be free; we feel free but upon consideration of what this means we never find any more freedom than what we want or what we feel. What has been termed an ‘ existential crisis’ is a moment when we become trapped in our existence; whatever the actual circumstances or events, we come to a point where a sensible decision into action becomes impossible, a catch 22, where the definers of free choice crowd in upon us and blur and do not allow us clearity. The decision, then, that is ultimately made is one of pure event, of pure experience: we are thrown into existence, the inevitable movement of existing itself. In response to this moment, one thereby makes sense of it, and thus comes to real freedom. Sartre says we make a choice out of the inevitable, what he calls the abyss of freedom, back into true agency where we find real freedom in our new found ability to choose truly of ourselves in reality, we ‘revolt’ against the abyss of freedom. Bad faith is the condition of the usual events of living before such crisis. This is the typical existential reading.

But this reading is wrong; it is a superficial reading that justifies freedom by denying basic existence for the sake of reality.

We cannot stop at feeling like everything is ok, because soon enough everything will not be ok again. Bad faith indicates a situation of denial. I contend that it is due to this denial that all problems occur – and if this is the case, then we will find that philosophy, and rhetoric in general, speaks of a maintenance of incorrection.

So what am I really saying when I say that Laruelle’s Non-philosophy is in bad faith? This is the issue at hand.

Direction 2.18

I have to start somewhere; I cannot, like most, start in the middle and expect to get anywhere but to an aggravation of the problem. I could start anywhere but I will begin with a few statements of what truth cannot be. Truth cannot be located in a real world, except as that world constitutes a reality. Truth cannot be found in discussion; only in reality can agreement be deemed as true. Truth cannot be relative because then we are left with an infinitely spiraling truth that there is no real truth but only a truth that we call truth, which is, in fact real. There are no terms which indicate nothing real.

What is serious has to do with death. Everything that is serious tends toward and responds from a tendency, or implied or inferred implication, of threat – and no threat is taken serious that is not linked to an idea of death. Death, while it may have something to do with what is true, really indicates what is false, and thereby we infer what may be true by the limitation set by our idea of the truth of death. If this manner of dialogue is not serious enough, it is because it speaks of death but is not offended by it, which is to say, I may have a natural response to impending doom, but I do not live life according to whether I will die today or tomorrow or ever: in so much as as I may die one day, and death, for what we can know for sure, ends all human relation, death must be true, but absolutely true, as opposed to just true in reality. What may be actually true, that is, not really true but absolutely true with reference to death, must be that which is most seriously false.

So, now that we have begun to spin some wheels, I will begin at a more definite beginning.



The primary, that is, first and most basic, issue of thought has nothing to do with topics; or rather, it has everything to do with the subject. All problems are based in a fundamental misunderstanding of reality, a misunderstanding that is kept in place and indeed enforced because of an offense. The offense is so great that it effects a denial of what is true of existence. Such a denial thus allows for the establishment of the true object. In this way, reality is a misunderstanding of the truth of human existence. Reality is a method of negotiating true things, or real objects, that are created through denial. Though an object may exist, we can only know it in reality as meaning, and meaning is founded in knowledge; therefore, all objects are created as real through an agreement between human beings who misunderstand the truth of existence and reality. If I encounter an object on my own, I have no relatable knowledge of its truth except inso much as I have entered into a negotiation of knowledge with another human being. This may be said to be a line of communication but such a moment is really part of the question we are addressing. Also, If I know of a true object by myself, I have no need to refer to it as true or false. We cannot address the possibility of a human being alone in reality for such a pondering is entirely defined and contained in knowledge given prior to the consideration.

The matter of offense is a more involved issue that will arise and be made sense of as we continue.

For now, one should see that what I have to offer is merely an accounting of all the facts and that I am not attempting to convince anyone of anything. I have no strategy, no deceptive jargon by which to uphold a privileged mystery nor create a mystique. I have no hidden agenda, no career motivation, no deadline or line to tow; I have no reputation nor identity to maintain. I merely present the necessary conclusion given all the facts, and one of the facts that precipitates out from this giving is that no one will be convinced because very few people have the personal integrity to want to or be able to consider all the facts. Only those who already understand what I present will be able to see that it is true. The issue has always been the putting clearly into words the truth of the matter at hand.

The first and most basic fact is duality: there is no real reconciliation of duality. This is to say, there are only two types of such reconciliation: what i call, the ironic and the conventional. A conventional reconciliation of duality is ‘religion’, or a hoped-for truth, or a truth based in faith.; an ironic reconciliation is called (actual) ‘truth’.

The conventional reconciliation calls for or to a uni-verse, that is, One. Religious truth is, by definition, a conventional reconciliation of the apparent duality of reality in oneness. It avoids diversity and plurality by asserting that it all can be recouped in reality through some promoted method.

The ironic reconciliation is what will be developed as we continue.

For now, I’ll let you chew on what has been offered so far for a little bit.